Saint Paul Baptist Church – A Living History

Just wanted  the Foothills NC readers to know about a recent publication about a church in the area.  Rick Blanton, Historian and long-time newsletter editor for Saint Paul Baptist Church,  Casar, NC  researched and wrote a book entitled: “Saint Paul Baptist Church-A Living History.”  He was commissioned by the conference on Sunday, March 25, 2012 and it was published in July of 2012.  If your ancestors lived in the area of the South Mountains of Burke and Cleveland County, as well as Rutherford, Lincoln and Catawba, you just might find a link in this book. Rick has turned over a lot of stones that he did not expect to find.  He has become more and more excited through the process of his research and is so ecstatic now that it is finished. The first publication sold out immediately and the second printing is almost out  the last I heard.  He is planning on doing a Second Edition in the future, so you might want to read this book and send him your comments.  He has several pastors that he is researching that he cannot find much information for and needs some help.

Rick took his information from these sources, as he commented in the Preface of the book:

1. Minutes of Saint Paul Baptist Church business meetings.

2. Saint Paul rolls, attendance records, Associational letters and reports.

3. Handwritten documents of former pastors and members.

4. Minutes of annual meetings of the Catawba River Baptist Association.

5. Minutes of annual meetings of the South Mountain Baptist Association.

6. Archived newspaper clippings.

7. Cleveland County Memorial Library in Shelby, NC.

8. Photographs provided by brothers and sisters of various Baptist congregations.

9. Photographs and personal recollections submitted by current and former church members.

Rick carefully tried to substantiate the facts, exclude errors and adhere to a chronological order.  You can reach Rick Blanton at rickblanton@bellsouth.net.  I am very impressed with Rick’s ability to uncover so much in such a short amount of time and his ability to sort through discrepancies in the organization of the church.  The photographs, which are many, of the folks who went to Saint Paul to church and their relatives and connections is astounding.  

Saint Paul is the church where I attended in my early and teenage years, and is the church where my husband and I were married. Many of my COOK folks were charter members and attended there until the day they died. They lie buried in this beautiful serene setting, where the cemetery is kept clean and neat.   I just love going there and visiting my kin from time to time. 

Thanks to Rick for all his hard work; we can all certainly benefit from this profound work.

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